Cecil "Joe" A. Bahn, 97, Bismarck, died May 30, 2014, at St. Alexius Medical Center.
Cecil A. Bahn was born June 19, 1916, to Ernest H. and Maxine (Fisher) Bahn in Froid, Mont. He moved with his family to Russell, where he received his elementary and high school education. His education was interrupted twice when he left school to help support the family by working at the WPA. Education was important to Cecil so he went back to high school and received his diploma in 1936.
After high school, Cecil went to work for a local farmer until he was drafted into the Army on Oct. 23, 1941. He went to boot camp in Texas before being assigned to the 27th Infantry, an Army National Guard unit out of Malone, N.Y. Cecil was a 50-caliber machine gunner and saw action with the 27th Infantry in the Makin Islands, Mariana Islands and Okinawa. The Battle of Saipan, one of the Mariana Islands, was a particularly hard fought battle for which Cecil was recognized for his accuracy with the big gun. Following the Battle of Saipan, the 27th Infantry was sent to Okinawa and then to the Makin Islands where Cecil sustained shrapnel in his leg from a hand grenade. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant and received the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, six overseas bars and the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with three Bronze Stars for his service in the Army.
Upon his discharge in August1945, Cecil returned to farming in the Russell area. He married Margaret (Peggy) Lambert of Maxbass on June 20, 1946. The young couple purchased land and farmed for 32 years. They retired from farming in 1980 and moved into Newburg. Cecil drove road grader for the county for two years and then helped out area farmers during planting and harvests. In 1990, the Bahns moved to Minot where they resided for 22 years before moving to Bismarck in November of 2012.
Cecil served on the Newborg Township Board, the Newburg Elevator Board of Directors, held several offices in the Russell Methodist Church, and drove school bus for many Newburg High School basketball games.
Cecil is survived by his wife of 67 years, Peggy; his children, Rodney (Noreen) Bahn of Bottineau, Joanne (Don Gumke) Dieterle of Jamestown, Kay Bahn-Buirge of Jacksonville, Fla., and Toni Bahn-Daede of Bismarck; six grandchildren, Jeff (DeAnn) Bahn, Jerry (Ginny) Bahn, Scott (Dawn) Dieterle, Jennifer (Rich) Jacquemart, Sara Daede, and Robert (Diann) Buirge; and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters; four brothers; one son-in-law; and one great-grandson.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, with Rev. Craig Schweitzer officiating.
Burial will be at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Parkway Funeral Service and will continue on Wednesday one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Russell Cemetery Fund, 1627-2 33rd St. North, Bismarck, ND 58501 or a charity of the donor's choice.
Go to www.parkwayfuneral.com to share memories of Cecil and to sign the online guestbook.